Scottish MPs, tenant groups and landlord bodies action have jointly discussed concerns over damp and mould in rented properties. In England, a think tank recommends the government should not relax the 2025 deadline for raising minimum EPC ratings to C.
In Scotland, John Blackwood, of the Scottish Association of Landlords, stated the association has received a surge of calls from members reporting issues with insulation and fitters installing it. These problems have led to an increase in damp and mould, which has caused concerns among tenants. Some tenants reporting that they are afraid to turn on their heating due to high energy bills, exacerbating the issue.
Housing and tenant groups urged that tenants should not be blamed for problems in their homes, particularly those related to fuel poverty and underinvestment in social housing. As part of the discussion these groups we supportive of funding for private landlords to upgrade their properties.
Debbie King, head of advocacy at Shelter Scotland, suggested that private landlords need more support and funding to upgrade current homes.
Meanwhile, Living Rent and the Central Scotland Regional Network of Tenants agreed that there should be a funding pot available for retrofitting properties.
In England, a new report by the Resolution Foundation has urged the UK government to maintain its energy efficiency targets for the private rental sector.
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero is reportedly considering relaxing the previously proposed deadlines of 2025 for newly-let rentals to achieve an energy performance rating of at least C, and a deadline of 2028 for all other rented properties. The daily Telegraph reports that all rental properties will instead have to meet the minimum standard by 2028. Currently properties only require an EPC rating of ‘E’ or above.
However, the Resolution Foundation argues that without proper insulation, families will continue to face cold winters and higher energy bills. To spur homeowners and landlords into action, the foundation recommends that all homes, including rental properties, be energy efficient by 2025.
Research by Knight Frank found that the average upgrade of a dwelling to at least a band C is £9,260. Properties with an EPC rating of D would require £5,500 and this figure doubles to over £10,000 on average for properties in bands F and G.